Happy 2007


Simple post today. Probably mostly a repeat from the original Bikkuri Blog, but we still haven’t recovered those files and most readers wouldn’t go back to read my ancient drivel if we did, so:

‘Happy New Year’ seems to have future, present, and past senses. The last time we meet someone in the ‘Old Year’ – if I may use that term – we might toss it out there. Certainly at the end of the countdown most folks will shout it out (unless otherwise engaged in a traditional New Year’s kiss.) Perhaps also, the first time we encounter someone in the New Year is a good occasion for wishing them well in this way.

In Japanese, however, there is a distinction between the first and the last of the choices above. The last time you expect to see someone in the ‘Old Year’, it is fairly important to say: “Yoi o-toshi o…” (良いお年を) This really isn’t a sentence, so much as a clause since the verb is left out. Yes, Steve Martin would be happy to know that verbs are not always needed.

Upon meeting for the first time in the New Year, we should properly address someone with: “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.” (あけましておめでとうございます)

I might not post on the 2nd and 3rd, since I will still be on vacation, but I don’t yet know where. Don’t worry, I will stick something up promptly on the 4th.


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